BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern has said “posh” people earn more than her for doing similar jobs.
The presenter, who is from Middlesbrough in Yorkshire, received a pay rise following the gender pay gap row but told The Sunday Times she has only “just now” reached a six-figure salary and that “posh women … are paid a hell of a lot more than me”.
She said while there is a lot of focus on representing different cultures, there needs to be more emphasis on encouraging working class people into broadcasting.
McGovern, 35, said: “Throughout my career I’ve had to argue about (pay). It’s not as simple as a gender issue, it’s partly down to class.
“There are a lot of women who do a similar job to me who are paid a hell of a lot more … who are a lot posher than me.”
‘It’s not as simple as a gender issue, it’s partly down to class’ – Steph McGovern
She said: “We concentrate too much on ethnic diversity and not enough on class.
“It’s dead important to represent loads of different cultures. But what the BBC doesn’t do enough of is thinking about getting people from more working-class backgrounds. It’s just posh.”
The presenter said “a lot of people in management are from the same background”.
“We’re talking about: ‘How do we represent more working class people?’ when they themselves are not working class. So how do they know?” she said.
McGovern also recounted an incident where a manager said she was “too common” to be a BBC presenter.
A BBC spokesperson said in a statement that “more than 80% of the BBC’s workforce was educated in state schools and the BBC is more diverse than it has ever been”.
The statement added: “The BBC has a clear commitment to finding and developing new talent.
“We offer hundreds of apprenticeships to ensure the BBC is open to people from all backgrounds and a range of programmes to help people develop their career once they’ve joined, but there’s always more to do and we have an ambitious diversity strategy which sets out our commitment to fully reflecting and representing the whole of the UK.”